Published on BBC, 26 June 2009.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown wants to set up a £60bn annual fund to help poor countries deal with climate change.
He hopes it will break the deadlock over who will pay developing nations to adapt to the changing climate and who will help them obtain clean technology.
Countries must reach a binding global agreement on carbon emission cuts at December’s Copenhagen summit, he said …
… On track:
Mr Brown stressed the UK was on track to exceed the targets for cuts agreed under the Kyoto protocol.
Recent figures from the Stockholm Institute – a respected research body – have thrown a somewhat different light on the UK’s performance.
The climate department DECC says, for instance, that although China’s total emissions are immense, the average European is responsible for emitting twice as much greenhouse gases as the average person in Chinese.
But the official tally of emissions does not include aviation and shipping, and it takes no account of emissions embedded in imported goods.
When these are taken into account, the institute calculates that the average UK resident pollutes 15 tonnes a year – almost five times more than the average Chinese person at 3.1 tonnes a year.
This implies that the UK should be making much deeper cuts in emissions than are already planned.
The Scottish Parliament voted this week to cut Scottish emissions by 42% by 2020, compared with a UK target of 34%.
The Scottish cuts will include aviation and shipping, but not embedded emissions.
The failure to calculate embedded emissions has damaged the reputation of countries like China which are making goods for export to the West but then being blamed for the pollution. (full text).